Jean Paul Lemieux

Jean Paul Lemieux, CC , GOQ (18 November, 19047 December, 1990) is one of the foremost painters of twentieth century Québec. He was born in Québec City, where he also died (Colin S. Macdonald claims he died in Montreal). He was raised in Québec City until 1916, when his family moved to Berkeley, California. In 1917, the family returned to Québec and settled in Montréal.

From 1926 to 1934, Jean Paul Lemieux studied under Edwin Holgate and others at the École des Beaux-Arts de Montréal (Montréal School of Fine Arts). In 1929, he travels to Europe with his mother. In Paris, he studied advertising and art, frequents other artists. Lemieux took teaching positions from 1934, first at the École des Beaux-Arts de Montréal, then in 1935 at the École du meuble (Furniture School). In 1937, he moved to Québec City and taught at the École des Beaux-Arts de Québec until his retirement in 1965. His connections at that period include other major artists associated with these schools, such as Alfred Pellan and Paul-Émile Borduas.

Jean Paul Lemieux received several awards for his works, including the Louis-Phillipe Hébert prize in 1971 and the Molson Prize for the Canada Council for the Arts in 1974. In 1968, he became a Companion of the Order of Canada. He was also a member of the Royal Canadian Academy. In 1997, he was posthumously made a Grand Officer of the National Order of Quebec.

Artistic career

The Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec and other sources divide Jean Paul Lemieux's career into five periods:

  1. the Montreal period (1926-1937), marked by realistic naturalism influenced by Quebec regionalists and, later, European postimpressionist modernism.
  2. the Primitive period (1940-1947), focused on "anecdote and accumulated scenic detail" (MNBAQ).
  3. the Minimalist period (1951-1955), with cubist structures, signals a major turning point in the artist's career.
  4. the "Classical" period (1956-1970), with a "figurativeness dear to Lemieux, albeit fuelled by the sources and practices of abstract art" (MNBAQ). It is in this period that Lemieux produced the paintings of lonely figures in desolate, simplistic landscapes for which he is so well-known today.
  5. the "Expressionist" period (after 1970), presenting humanity living in a bleak, hopeless world..

External links

Images and galleries


Criticism and interpretation


  • BRULOTTE, Gaëtan, L'Univers de Jean Paul Lemieux, Québec: Fides, 1996, 282p.

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